Double Dutch at Death Match 22

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Double Dutch at Death Match 22

Post by Nathanael Russell on Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:28 pm

You might think that two boys from the Netherlands, born on exactly the same day and both reaching the upper echelons of chess, would have met even earlier. It took them about a decade, and by the time they did, they weren't equals.
"I think we met in the Dutch Championship, under 12," Death Match 22 competitor GM Erwin l'Ami recalled. "He was the big favorite while I was in my first championship. I remember I made 4.5 out of 9 and finished 27th. He indeed finished first."
That antecedent to l'Ami's story is of course GM Jan Smeets, who didn't recall the exact meeting. Chess players naturally remember the peak players at tournaments, and we can't expect the top-rated to remember the rest of the field.
Over time, the gap in skill would mitigate, and they go into Saturday's Death Match as near equals. The match will take place live March 22 on Chess.com/tv at 12:00 p.m. Eastern (New York time), 9 a.m. Pacific. They will play three hours of blitz and bullet, without any breaks.

l'Ami's personal favorite game against Smeets was their 2007 meeting on home soil in Wijk aan Zee. White makes 10 retreating moves before finally crashing through for good with the crunching finish.

[pgn][Event "Corus Group B"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2007.01.20"]
[EventDate "2007.01.13"]
[Round "7"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Erwin L'Ami"]
[Black "Jan Smeets"]
[ECO "D47"]
[WhiteElo "2594"]
[BlackElo "2538"]
[PlyCount "95"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Nf3 Nbd7 6. Bd3 dxc4
7. Bxc4 b5 8. Bd3 Bb7 9. e4 b4 10. Na4 c5 11. e5 Nd5 12. Nxc5
Nxc5 13. dxc5 Bxc5 14. O-O h6 15. Nd2 Qc7 16. Re1 Rd8 17. Qg4
Ne7 18. Qg3 Kf8 19. Nb3 Bb6 20. Bd2 Qd7 21. Bc2 Qb5 22. Rad1
Bd5 23. Be3 Nc6 24. Bd3 Qa4 25. Bxb6 axb6 26. Bb1 Rg8 27. Nd4
Ne7 28. b3 Qa5 29. Qf4 Rc8 30. Nc2 Nc6 31. Ne3 Ne7 32. Rd4 Rc5
33. Red1 Nc6 34. R4d2 Ne7 35. Nc4 Qa7 36. Nd6 Nc6 37. Bg6 Nd8
38. Be4 Nc6 39. Bxd5 exd5 40. e6 f6 41. Nf5 Ne7 42. Ne3 Qc7
43. Qxb4 Ke8 44. Qg4 Qc6 45. Nxd5 Nxd5 46. Qg6+ Kd8 47. Qf7
Re8 48. Rxd5+ 1-0[/pgn]

Smeets can't capture twice as e7+ nets the queen. But if he takes once and slides the king to c8, then Qd7+ wins. If he heads for c8 right away, White can trade on c5 and do the same.
---
For Smeets, his most memorable head-to-head matchup was in 2010. He used a common tactic to win a pawn, then eventually delivered in a grueling endgame. At one point, the two players were more than half way to the 50-move rule before White made progress and got his majority going.

[pgn][Event "Dutch Championship"]
[Site "Eindhoven NED"]
[Date "2010.06.19"]
[EventDate "2010.06.11"]
[Round "8"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Jan Smeets"]
[Black "Erwin L'Ami"]
[ECO "C80"]
[WhiteElo "2659"]
[BlackElo "2620"]
[PlyCount "189"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5
7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. Be3 Be7 10. c3 O-O 11. Nbd2 Qd7
12. Bc2 f5 13. exf6 Nxf6 14. Qb1 Kh8 15. b4 a5 16. a3 axb4
17. axb4 Rxa1 18. Qxa1 Bd6 19. Bd3 Ne7 20. Re1 Bf5 21. Qb1
Bxd3 22. Qxd3 Nf5 23. Bg5 c6 24. Bxf6 Rxf6 25. Nb3 Re6
26. Rxe6 Qxe6 27. g3 Ne7 28. Qxh7+ Kxh7 29. Ng5+ Kg6 30. Nxe6
Kf5 31. Nbc5 Bxc5 32. Nxc5 d4 33. cxd4 Nd5 34. Kg2 Nxb4
35. Kf3 Nc2 36. Nb3 Ne1+ 37. Ke2 Nc2 38. Kf3 Ne1+ 39. Ke2 Nc2
40. f3 Nb4 41. Ke3 Nd5+ 42. Kd3 Nb4+ 43. Kc3 Nd5+ 44. Kd2 g5
45. h3 Ne7 46. Nc5 Nd5 47. Kd3 Nb4+ 48. Kd2 Nd5 49. Ne4 Ne7
50. Kc3 Nd5+ 51. Kb3 Kg6 52. Nc3 Nc7 53. Ne4 Nd5 54. Nf2 Kf5
55. Nd3 Ke6 56. Nc5+ Kf5 57. Kc2 Nb4+ 58. Kd1 Nd5 59. Kd2 Ne7
60. Ne4 Nd5 61. Nf2 Ke6 62. Kd3 Kf5 63. Ng4 Nb4+ 64. Kc3 Nd5+
65. Kd3 Nb4+ 66. Kc3 Nd5+ 67. Kd2 Ne7 68. Ne3+ Ke6 69. Kd3 Kf6
70. Ke4 Nc8 71. Nf5 Nb6 72. h4 gxh4 73. Nxh4 Na4 74. Ng2 c5
75. Ne3 Nc3+ 76. Kd3 cxd4 77. Nc2 Nd5 78. Kxd4 Nc7 79. Kc5 Ke5
80. Nd4 Kf6 81. Nxb5 Ne6+ 82. Kd5 Ng7 83. Nd4 Nh5 84. Ne2 Kg6
85. Ke5 Kg5 86. Ke4 Nf6+ 87. Ke3 Nh5 88. Kf2 Nf6 89. Kg2 Nd5
90. Kh3 Ne3 91. g4 Nf1 92. f4+ Kg6 93. Kg2 Nd2 94. Ng3 Nb1
95. Ne4 1-0[/pgn]

This win helped Smeets go undefeated in winning the Dutch Championship in 2010, ahead of such players as GM Anish Giri and GM Loek van Wely.
As for the Death Match, both players claim that the 1+1 segment will be their best and both have trepidations about the 5+1 portion. l'Ami said that it is a "bit slow for me."

Watch all the action of Death Match 22 live at Chess.com/tv. Commentators Rensch and Finegold will cover all three hours, including pre- and post-game interviews. Coverage starts at 12:00 p.m. Eastern, 9 a.m. Pacific, -- GMT -8 -- Saturday, March 22.

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Re: Double Dutch at Death Match 22

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:45 pm

Thx Cool 

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